Hot Pot: The Perfect Way to Eat in Winter

January 11, 2014

Winter for most Asians means one thing: hot pot! Hot pot, or "Asian fondue" for easier understanding, is a popular way of dining in winter. But a lot of Asians are so fond of it that they would even hot pot in the summer. Not only it's delicious and convenient to eat, hot pot is also good for family dinners or friends gathering. Everyone would order their favorite food and sit around the pot to dig in.

So what is hot pot exactly? The 4 basic things you would need: a pot, electric stove/burner, any food you want to eat, and dipping sauces. The pot would be constantly boiling your desired soup base and you would cook your food in the pot, either with popular choices such as thinly sliced beef, vegetables, and fish balls.

Hot pot origins from China more than 1,000 years ago. Now this way of eating has spread to different Asian countries like Japan, where hot pot is called Shabu Shabu or Nabemono (literally means things in the pot).

Besides chopsticks, this utensil in the picture above is another essential tool: wired spoons. It comes in handy whenever you need to scoop your food from the pot or quickly cook your beef slices. The round shape design is perfect for putting fish balls in it.

Personal Tips:
  1. It doesn't take long for the thinly sliced beef to cook, it would be cooked in less than 30 seconds in boiling soup base.
  2. My favorite dipping sauce is mixing Sa Cha Sauce and Hoisin Sauce together.
  3. Always dip your utensils in boiling soup base after you picked up raw ingredients (for safety purposes).
  4. Do order thinly sliced beef/lamb and fish/beef balls for an authentic hot pot experience
Half Spicy Half Mild

Common Soup Base:
  • Regular stock
  • Spicy Sichuan style
  • Tonkotsu Pork Bone
  • Herbal ingredients

Common Protein Ingredients:
  • Thinly sliced beef, lamb and pork
  • Fish or beef balls
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Fish slices
  • Fried tofu

Common Carbs:
  • Rice noodles
  • Thick noodles
  • Ramen noodles

Common Vegetables:
  • Spinach
  • Bok Choy
  • Corn
  • Taro
  • Mushroom 
  • Carrot
  • Watercress

Common Dipping Sauce/Condiments:
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Garlic and/or Scallion
  • Sa Cha Sauce
  • Fermented Tofu Sauce
  • Soy Sauce

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